Tuesday, July 29, 2014

St. Nicholas Restaurant: Mandaluyong's Newest Dining Experience

Wazzup Pilipinas!

We found a new gem somewhere deep within Mandaluyong's residential area where only a few restaurants exist. Most of the dining spots out there are hole-in-the-wall type that has somehow clicked not only among the neighborhood but has also reached the radar of foodies all over the Metro.

When it's a real hit, it's bound to become the talk-of-the-town or in many cases the talk-of-the-online-world popularly known as social media or the Internet. Through the Internet, many of the new restaurants start getting some attention as soon as one person recommends it among his Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram friends.

There is sure to be many curious peeps out there that would like to try something new in order to satisfy their curiosity, and ultimate desire to be among the first. It is always an honor and privilege to be among the few people who gets to try out for the first time dishes from a new restaurant especially when later on you find the place enjoying its eventual popularity.

St. Nicholas Restaurant owned by Chef Nick Pelaez is a new events place that serves a lot of our favorite Filipino cuisine plus a lot more, even exotic delicacies like the Adobong Crocodile, and their Tapas made from deer and wild boar meat, which makes the place more interesting to visit soon.

The place is similar to one of our properties in Pateros where my grandmother's ancestral house is located. It seems all the cultural artifacts found in an ancestral house was taken out and used as decorations to spice up the ambiance. I used to do the same setup in our backyard whenever we don't have room anymore for the old stuff at our main house. I will fix up the roofed backyard and decorate it with the excess stuff and make it my personal hang-out or clubhouse where my friends and I can spend the entire afternoon chatting and playing with our Transformer robots, constructing Lego structures, and reading Marvel and DC comics.

Those were during my younger days. The property has been used to build a new house so my hang-out is now just an unforgettable childhood memory.

There's a mix of origins where the artifacts came from and where the decors got the inspiration. Influences from Thailand, China, Japan, and other countries all over Asia can be felt there to probably match with the dishes served at the place. St. Nicholas Restaurant is a fusion of more than just Asian influence. You will see some other influences based on some of the other decors, but what was definite was the rich influence of religion since you can see a number of religious images everywhere. From the Buddha to the Holy Family, you'll feel blessed at St. Nicholas Restaurant.

Chef Nick also has a cute caricature of himself hanged on one of the posts of the restaurant where he is presented as a chef holding a roasted chicken in one hand and a kitchen background. It would have been adorable as well if he also came out to greet us in his chef uniform.

But our dining experience was as casual as the place. It was a very informal Sunday night dinner that was quickly filled with enthusiasm when Chef Nick announced that there's Adobong Buwaya (Crocodile) and Tapang Usa (Deer) and Tapang Kalabaw (Carabao) to be served that night.

Strawberry and Chocolate Banana Shake (P 65)
We started with a drink of Banana Shakes mixed with our choice of chocolate, milk, mango or strawberry. It was not really the first for me and I would have preferred if they used fresh fruits, but for the low price of P 65, I understand why. Most restaurants can serve you fresh fruit shakes but it will cost you double, and sometimes triple.

Okoy with Suka (P 99)
A well-loved traditional Okoy with three choices of Suka (Vinegar) is available as either an appetizer or "minindal" (merienda). For most Filipinos, this is already a main dish since many would love to eat this with rice. I actually adore these kind of dishes since I also used to make them with a mixture of my favorite ingredients like kamote (sweet potato) and tokwa (tofu). The three vinegar choices will make you adventurous to try each one of them until you find what makes the Okoy more tasty. For me, I like it even without  the vinegars but still I experimented on using each one.

The Poqui-Poqui is another complimentary dish to add to your meal especially when you are dining on anything fried. There was also Enchaladang Mangga served but I forgot to take a photo of it. Everyone was already engrossed in eating when these arrived so I sort of miss out on appreciating them.

Sinigang na Baboy (P 199)
You'll loved sipping on the Pork Sinigang or Sinigang na Baboy broth as the taste was just right for me. The meat was a little too hard to chew probably because I prefer meat to be softer and more tender when its soup-based. But the veggies were cooked properly just the way I like it.

Fried Tilapia with Sweet Tamarind Sauce (P 199)
The Fried Tilapia with Sweet Tamarind Sauce was obviously similar to the Sweet and Sour dish we are all familiar with. But the tamarind sauce takes it a little notch higher and the presentation was also extra special. If you were not seeing it, the taste becomes more spectacular as the tamarind taste really makes the tilapia quite more appealing to the taste.

Adobong Baboy  na Dilaw (P 199)
They say the Adobong Baboy na Dilaw is a bit more special than the regular counterpart because of the yellow ginger or turmeric that was used. I would have to agree with that statement. Turmeric is one of the most common food flavorings (a common ingredient in curry powder) and coloring in Asian cuisine. The health benefits of turmeric is plenty - from its anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties to its ability to reduce arthritis, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.

Kalderetang Baka ( P 250)
The Kalderetang Baka was actually my favorite among the other dishes served that night. The spice was perfect for me though I admittedly sweated a lot because of it. I was still sweating all over until the rest of the night after I've sampled on this dish. I never stopped eating it until none was left on the bowl. I may have been sweating a lot, but I was enjoying every minute of the flavor.

Adobong Crocodile Meat (Buwaya) (P 300)
 The Adobong Crocodile (Buwaya) was actually better than pork. But you really won't notice that you were already eating crocodile meat until somebody tells you. That is when you'll notice the distinct taste that it brings to the palate. It was naturally more expensive than the other dishes but it was worth every peso. The bragging rights to tell your friends that you've eaten a "Congressman" or "Senator" is enough reward to try this out.

Tapang Usa  (Price to be announced)
We all have probably tasted Beef Tapa (Tapang Baka), but it's a totally new experience once you've tried Deer Tapa (Tapang Usa) or Wild Boar Tapa (Tapang Baboy Ramo). The two dishes may be difficult to differentiate when they are served in identical plates, so we advised the chef to work on the presentation to highlight the difference between the two.

Tapang Baboy Ramo (Price to be announced)
Ideal for the "pulutan", these dishes are best when shared with the "barkada" but too bad St. Nicholas Restaurant does not serve beer or any kind of liquor. But they do catering for your parties and all kinds of gatherings and of course, nothing's stopping you from ordering for take-outs.

Yema Cake
They may not be making their own desserts for now, but the sweet treats they have came from the best sources there is. You have to try out their Yema Cake direct from Tayabas, Quezon Province - the best way to end your sumptuous dining experience at St. Nicholas Restaurant and it also goes really well while drinking your favorite coffee.

Civet Coffee

The restaurant serves Civet "alamid" Coffee, known as the world's most expensive coffee, also brewing at St. Nicholas Restaurant! Feeling "sosyal" or just want to reward yourself after a hard week of work, head on over to this new resto in Mandaluyong to experience this "sosyal na kape."

Leche Puto
 The Leche Puto direct from their supplier at Tayabas, Quezon combines leche plan and puto into bite-size sweet delicious treats that everyone will love. Imagine munching on these delectable little yummies that are also good for "pasalubong" to your loved ones.

Turon deTsokolate (P 75)
The Turon de Tsokolate, or a local version of the Churros that's also dipped in chocolate is another dessert that you can order at St. Nicholas Restaurant. Instead of saging na saba, it uses lakatan instead.

Mark your calendars now for your soonest availability and start planning to be among the first to try out their now becoming well-loved dishes. Better yet, start gathering up your friends, relatives and colleagues to celebrate at this venue where you'll find both great food and ambiance. The place is a dreamlike al fresco dining, open 24 hours a day (until 10pm on Sundays). If you find the place a bit small for your group or family occasion, then they are also available for catering.

Have a friendly chat with Chef Nick on your visit at St. Nicholas Restaurant. He has a lot of stories to tell.
Bloggers were all pleased and over blessed at St. Nicholas Restaurant

Come and visit them at #1 Fatima st., Corner San Rafael St., Bgy. Plainview, Mandaluyong City. Contact numbers are 535-7637 and 788-6426.

Get to know more about St. Nicholas Restaurant from their Facebook page:

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  1. Wonderful shots! Everything looks delicious!

  2. Specialty signature dishes as against the conventional menu are almost certain the present pattern. DQFanFeedback


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